Reset Your Nervous System

Integrating Mind/Body/Energy for Optimal Healing

The human mind is a highly diverse and yet adaptable system. 

 

This discovery of the incredible neuroplasticity of our brains, has taught us that the entire central nervous system is highly adaptable. It is important to recognize and remember that our nervous systems can essentially learn anything it practices! 

 

What does this mean for persistent pain?

 

This incredible adaptability of the nervous system is also part of what causes people to get stuck in the pain cycle. When pain persists after a normal 3 to 6 month window, it is considered to have more involvement of the mind’s central nervous system and to be more effectively treated as a complex syndrome and to have elements of a MindBody disorder. 

 

The fact that it is considered a MindBody disorder simply means that the central nervous system is involved in the “persistent” element of the pain cycle. Central sensitization is a condition of the nervous system that is associated with the development and maintenance of persistent pain. When central sensitization occurs, the nervous system is in a persistent state of high reactivity.

 

This state of high reactivity, increases the amount of danger sensors and more nerves start to produce hormones that increase your body’s stress reactions and fight/flight/freeze responses. This increases the threshold or sensitivity level of the nervous system so that it is more on guard and can be easily triggered.

Simple ≠ Easy

 

The nervous system is highly adaptable, sensors are always changing, brain chemistry can be changed. You can change how much you attend to the pain and you can influence the type of attention it is given.

 

Sound hard? It’s actually quite a simple concept, but it is not easy because it takes vigilant awareness of your MindBody, as well as consistency and discipline in your practice.

 

Experiments to try:

 

  • Become aware of when your nervous system triggers the danger signal. By convincing your nervous system that “it is not so dangerous” you can have less pain.

  • Master your attention.

  • Use the power of breath to reset the nervous system.

© 2016 CAPRI Central Alberta Pain & Rehabilitation Institute